Friday, March 20, 2009

Your Bird Impersonations

I got an interesting request from a friend recently asking if I'd be able to attend an event held by a local chorus and if I'd be able to do some bird impersonations for the group. I had to decline, although I was flattered to be asked. Not only can't I make the date, but I'm not too confident in my repertoire of bird impersonations. I think I do an OK Barred Owl. I can do a good Mourning Dove, most of the US Nightjars, and I'm sure a few other species. I can whistle the melody of some bird songs too, but not well. Eastern Screech-Owl stinks and that's probably one of the more useful ones around for bringing in birds. And no birds have ever been curious about my Mourning Dove impersonation.

I definitely wouldn't consider myself anywhere near as proficient as The Bird Call Lady! What impersonations can you do? Leave a comment!

10 comments:

Mel said...

None... oh, wait, maybe a Woodpecker if I knock on the door?
I suck at that :(

OpposableChums said...

I do a decent White-throat Sparrow. The trick is to sound like you're trying to remember a melody, but can't, and trail off. Some of your pals know what song you're talking about, and they join in trying to recall it, but they can't remember it either.

Kiggavik said...

I speak pretty fluent Cuban Trogan, and can bring them in pretty much every time I hear one.

Patrick Belardo said...

Mel: Good one!

OC: Oh yeah, I forgot I can do that too. We'll have to compare someday.

Kiggavik: Oh man, I couldn't find the call online, but I can imagine it sounds like the other Trogons.

John said...

I have tried doing a screech owl call, but it's not persuasive enough to call in any birds. Saw-whet is fairly easy to imitate.

corey said...

I do an amazing American Bittern. At least, when I do it around other birders they ask me to do it over and over again...

Gallicissa said...

I speak very good pish, the international bird language.

And I speak several dialects of Zoothera Thrushes, especially the endemic Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush. I am told that my renditions of it sounds bloody good...so much so that one bird tour guide who didn't have the call of this cryptic rain forest bird asked me once whether he could record my rendition! The call I am talking about is so high pitched that a lot of the older folks who come on tours cannot hear it.

Other than that I speak pretty decent Green-billed Coucal, Malabar Trogon and a bit of Chestnut-backed Owlet.

Patrick Belardo said...

Corey: Well, I know what I'll be having you do next time I see you.

John: Yeah, I need to practice my Screech. I can do Saw-Whet too. Maybe I should have taken this gig...

Amila: I'll have to look those up! Sounds cool though.

Christopher said...

I've been practicing my Eastern Screech Owl, and actually coaxed one out during the day a week or so ago. I did the same with a Ferruginous Pygmy Owl in T&T, but anybody can do that. I can't do any sparrows or warblers that well

Patrick, I do seem to recall you did a pretty good Barred Owl.

Corey, the next time I see you I want to hear that bittern

Gunnar Engblom said...

I do Peruvian, Yungas and Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, depending on slope and altitude the birds come in and often the Pygmy-Owls as well. I also called in Pavonine Quetzal, Red-and-White, Bay, Chestnut-capped and "Pasco" Antpittas with whistles, but they are all quite easy to imitate.
I speak also speak good pishing just like Galicissa, but I am afraid the darn Peruvian birds don't understand it, with few exceptions. I think it is like Argentinian to them, because only Rufous-colored Sparrow seem to understand.
I also do Ben Coffey Jr, after too much listening to bird tapes in my early Peru years. Here is the link to Gunnar's Ben Coffey imitation. I can do better than that, but it takes a couple of beers. That is also when I do a perfect Eurasian Bittern with the empty beer bottles.